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Moated site known as Tanner's Cottage, 250m south of Greens

A Scheduled Monument in Moreton, Essex

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Latitude: 51.7463 / 51°44'46"N

Longitude: 0.242 / 0°14'31"E

OS Eastings: 554872.935381

OS Northings: 207668.743085

OS Grid: TL548076

Mapcode National: GBR MGD.G0G

Mapcode Global: VHHMH.4CSM

Entry Name: Moated site known as Tanner's Cottage, 250m south of Greens

Scheduled Date: 27 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016880

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33257

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Moreton

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Moreton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a medieval moated site known as Tanner's Cottage, 250m
south of an isolated house known as Greens, some 1.6km to the north east of
the village of Moreton.

The moated site includes a kite shaped island which measures a maximum of 50m
north east-south west by up to 52m north west-south east. The island is
contained by a moat or ditch measuring a maximum of 1.5m in depth and
approximately 6m wide. The eastern corner of the moat survives as a buried
feature. Access to the moat is via a narrow causeway across the south east arm
of the moat.

The 1839 Tithe map of Moreton depicts the moated site with at least two
buildings on it with possible access (perhaps a bridge) across the north west
arm of the moat. The 1896 Ordnance Survey 2nd edition 25 inch map shows only
one building, marked as Tanner's Cottage. Access to the cottage was via the
eastern corner of the moat. Both maps depict the moat with the eastern corner
missing, suggesting that it was filled-in prior to 1839, possibly when a lane,
now a bridleway which follows the north eastern and south eastern arms of the
moat was enlarged. The date Tanner's Cottage was demolished is not known.

Brick and tile are visible spread across the surface of the island and a sherd
of pottery, thought to be medieval in date and likely to have belonged to an
earlier phase of occupation, has been identified from the island.

All fences around the site are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moated site known as Tanner's Cottage survives well. The island is largely
undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features
relating to former periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the
ditches will contain both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and
environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the
monument was set. The buried eastern corner of the moat, in particular, is
likely to retain sealed deposits from the earliest phases of the moat's

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are relatively numerous,
enabling chronological and social variations to be explored. Further moated
sites are situated in the parish of Moreton at Cross Lees, 1.4km to the SSE
and Bundish Hall, in the parish of Little Laver at Church Farm, 1.6km to the
NNW and Envilles, 1.8km to the north and in the parish of Fyfield at Holme's
Garden, 2km to the north east. Comparative studies between these sites and
with further examples from other regions will provide valuable insights into
the development of settlement and many other aspects of medieval society in

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1956), 129
pot sherd picked up during site visit, Fenton, P, (1999)
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" 2nd Edition
Source Date: 1896
Essex Record Office
Title: Tithe Map of Moreton
Source Date: 1839
Essex Record Office ref: D/CT 244

Source: Historic England

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